Category Archives: doctoral research

starting the PhD – don’t panic

I was sitting in my office the other day talking with a beginning PhDer. A nearly-finished doctor popped her head around the door. I asked her what advice she would give someone just starting out on their doctorate, and her … Continue reading

Posted in data, doctoral research, literature review, panic, questions, research question, thesis | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

reflecting on PhD learning

Some supervisors ask the doctoral researchers they work with to formally reflect on their learning. A what-am-I-learning conversation might be a regular part of supervision. Reflection is also often self initiated – ongoing thoughts are recorded in a doctoral researcher journal … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, text work/identity work, thesis, viva | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

should doctoral researchers blog?

I often get asked about the pros and cons of doctoral researchers blogging, and I know other colleagues do too. There isn’t a right or wrong answer to the question of course, it’s always an “It depends”. But here’s a … Continue reading

Posted in academic blogging, doctoral research, networking, plagiarism, publications | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

handing in the PhD – yes, it’s a checklist!!

There’s nothing quite like the countdown to handing in the PhD. Puff pant, puff pant. I think I can, I think I can. But…. On the one hand, you may be absolutely sick of the sight of the text and … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, drafting, examiner, revision | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

what’s with the name doctoral ‘student’?

One of the things I’ve been trying really hard to get over is the notion of the doctoral ‘student’. This is by far the most common way to refer to people doing a PhD, and it’s pretty hard not to … Continue reading

Posted in authority in writing, doctoral research, identity, student or researcher | Tagged , , , | 58 Comments

working with literatures – love the uncertainty

I am frequently asked by doctoral researchers about reviewing literatures. As they talk, I often get a strong sense that their questions are accompanied by feelings of inadequacy.My guess is that they feel they ought to have more of a … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, literature mapping, literature review, literature themes, metaphor, uncertainty, wonder | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

how much should doctoral researchers read?

I often get asked this question and it’s one I hate. That’s because there is no answer that ever seems satisfactory. My answer is usually – well it depends. It depends on the topic and it depends on what you … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, literature review, reading, reading routine, reading target | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments